Music was Dorothy’s passion. She loved to sing and play the piano. In her youth, Dorothy would get her sister Leatha and all her cousins together at her grandmother’s house, to teach them how to sing. After learning how to sing, Leatha and her cousins would join Dorothy as often as they could when she sang and played the piano.
Dorothy attended Concord School, near her home. Concord School was a single small building housing several grade levels in the one classroom.
Dorothy learned about the Lord at an early age. She was baptized at Moss Temple Church of the Living God in Mt. Enterprise at the age of six and began singing in church.
When Dorothy was 13 years old, her mother moved she and her siblings to Los Angeles California. She graduated in 1958 from Jefferson High School in Los Angeles and continued her education at Compton Community College. In that same year Dorothy formed her first female singing group, The Idols.
Dorothy met Richard Berry during her time at Jefferson High School in the mid-1950’s. She was part of the high school a cappella choir, and Richard was a recording artist that was often invited by his old music teacher Larry Larson to visit his alma mater. Dorothy caught Richard’s eye, and he decided he wanted to get to know her better, which led to their courtship and eventual marriage. To their marriage union, two children were born, Pamela Rochelle Berry and Richard Marcel Berry.
With encouragement from her husband Richard, Dorothy also became a professional musician, releasing a variety of different records as a solo artist, as well as doing a lot of backup vocals for productions. In 1968, she started working with Ray Charles, providing harmony vocals for even more productions, as well as recordings as being a solo artist for Brother Ray’s Tangerine Records label. In 1971, she joined up as a member of Ray’s Raelettes, singing all over the globe for over 10 years.
After 10 years of marriage, Richard & Dorothy amicably divorced, and remained close friends until his passing in 1997.
After a tour in the Middle East, where she had witnessed the consequences of war in Lebanon, Dorothy came home to America, shaken by what she had seen. Horrified by the ravages of war, Dorothy wrote a song she entitled “The World Needs Peace.” She turned to her dear friend, ex-husband Richard Berry to help with recording this song. Richard loved the song and agreed to sing it with her as a duet. The song was released as a 45 single.
Dorothy loved her family dearly and tired of being on the road away from her children and father, Dorothy decided to change careers and retired from the Ray Charles band. She joined the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) as a Coordinator, later promoting to a District Supervisor. She retired from the LAUL in 2003 to provide full time care for her ailing father until his transition home in 2011, after which Dorothy continued to lead a quiet life, enjoying the rest of her years with her two children and grandchildren until the Father called and she answered.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents, Clyde & Lurie Adams; Brothers, Clyde Cellus Adams, Alexander Adams; Sisters, Mae Rene Adams, Leatha Mae Cameron.
Dorothy leaves to cherish her memory; A brother Lonnie L. Adams of Hemet, CA; Daughter Pamela R. Berry of Hemet, CA; Son Richard M. Berry of Hemet, CA; 2 grandsons, Richard D’Juan (Ashli) Berry & Devin Horace Berry, three great grandchildren; Akeem, Ameer & Nina; 2 uncles, 2 aunts, a host of nieces, nephews, friends and fans.